PORTLAND — All Oregonians who are 16 and older will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations no later than July 1, Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday.
The governor presented her new vaccine eligibility timeline during a news conference Friday — outlining when people with underlying health conditions, people in low-income housing, homeless people, essential workers and the general public will receive shots.
“Yes, you are hearing me correctly,” Gov. Brown said. “Come summer – provided supplies from the federal government continue as planned — any Oregonian who wants the vaccine will be eligible to receive it.”
The next round of vaccine distribution in Oregon will occur in waves. People who are eligible in the first wave, which begins March 29, are residents who are 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions, seasonally-impacted front line workers — such as migrant seasonal farm workers, seafood and agricultural workers, and food processing workers — displaced victims of the September 2020 wildfires, wildland firefighters, people living in low-income and congregate senior housing and individuals experiencing houselessness.
Rachael Banks, the director of the health authority’s public health division, said Oregon is using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of underlying health conditions — cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Down Syndrome, heart conditions, immunocompromised state, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease and type 2 diabetes.
The second wave, which begins May 1, will include all other front-line workers as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are 16 to 45 with underlying health conditions and multigenerational household members.
Front-line workers include grocery store employees, restaurant works, members of the media and public transit workers. In addition, no later than June all adults 45 or older will be eligible.
Currently people who are eligible for vaccine are Oregonians in the Phase 1a group, which includes health care workers and people in long-term care facilities, and educators, seniors 70 and older and adults in custody. Beginning Monday, people who are 65 or older will also be eligible for vaccine.
“One year (into the pandemic), with our vaccine efforts continuing to ramp up, we truly see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Brown said. “Like every state, we’ve had some bumps along the way. But overall, we’re getting shots into the arms of Oregonians quickly, safely and equitably.”